Saturday, June 13, 2009

Will the Bloc Quebecois regret opposing the Conservatives?

The only reason that Michael Ignatieff can contemplate toppling the government is the prompt opposition that the two other opposition parties offered to Harper's economic update. Now that Ignatieff seems to be considering his options very carefully, will the Bloc Quebecois regret their dismissal that took an amazingly short amount of time of a 234 page document?

The reason I am wondering is that the only party that comes close at this moment to the Bloc is the Liberal party. In the latest EKOS poll, the Bloc leads with 36.5% of support, with the Liberals close behind at 33.6%. That is a margin that could be bridged by the Liberals in the middle of a campaign. Quebecers keen to see Harper get the boot may switch vote.

Even if voters in Quebec don't switch, an election at this time would solidify the massive gains the Liberals have made in the province since the federal election. These are like Chretien era numbers, they're that good. And the Bloc has no interest in having a Liberal party that can rival them.

So, although it may seem that Ignatieff has a choice to make now, in a way so did Duceppe. And it looks like he believes an election would be beneficial for him. Or else he's bluffing and hoping Ignatieff doesn't go along with it. All very interesting considerations.

All in all however, maybe Gilles is co-operating because otherwise, there will be even more aging baby boomers keen to receive pensions and benefits from Ottawa, rather than engage in dreams of sovereignty. Maybe he will have a better chance this time than next.

I am looking forward to seeing how the BQ will react if Ignatieff moves for an election. It could be interesting, possibly.
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1 comment:

  1. I have more trouble seeing the Bloc eat its hat than, say, the NDP. The Bloc numbers aren't horrible, and they actually would prefer to have the old Liberal-Bloc fight than the Conservative-Bloc fight. The former is federalist/sovereigntist, and brings that question back to the table. The latter is more of the right/left sort of fight, which the Bloc does not do as well in because the Liberals, NDP, and Greens have more or less the same message.

    For Duceppe, it could be worth the risk of an election to avoid being the one who sides with the Tories. Considering the rhetoric of the last election, it would be a BIG reversal on what the Bloc ran on during that election. The Bloc said that they were the only ones who could prevent a Tory majority, so to keep the Tories in government might be too much to swallow.

    Duceppe knows how to run against the Liberals, he did it in 1997, 2000, 2004, and to a lesser extent in 2006.


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